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Columns

J.M. Sorrell: Never more proud to be of Irish heritage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Never have I been more proud to be Irish than on May 22. The Irish people — urban and rural alike — voted for marriage equality. In a country where close to 90 percent of the population is Catholic and goes to Mass every Sunday, they have demonstrated that love and an innate sense of fairness supersede oppressive doctrine. I was not surprised by the vote or the …

Jane Lyons: The long wait for what’s right — child welfare on margins in Massachusetts

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HADLEY — It just hit me. If a person went to a hospital emergency room and wasn’t treated for days or months, we would all be outraged. If there were inadequate numbers of staff to treat us, or a family member or friend, we would demand that the hospital be equipped to do its job. We would demand that well-trained medical professionals be …

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had lost his glasses and was fumbling around in the kitchen to make a sandwich. He …

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

Tom Weiner: Of veterans and the American peace movement

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I recently attended an extraordinary panel presentation at Smith College entitled “Understanding and Healing War’s Deepest Wounds” and featuring three outstanding men — Edward Tick, Robert Meagher and Mark Nickerson. Each has made a noteworthy contribution to the vexed issue of caring for returning veterans. Each …

Christine Clarke: Agricultural success in Valley starts with healthy soil

Monday, April 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Eighty years ago, on April 14, 1935, an ominous wall of blowing sand and dust swept across the Great Plains on a day that came to be known as Black Sunday. During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl days saw huge dust storms ravage the Midwest because …

Sara Weinberger: Why not activate your investments?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — When bothered by insomnia, I meet with my financial advisor. Discussions of indexes, hedge funds and equities lull me to sleep quicker than Ambien. The fancy graphs and charts he presents my husband and I with at each visit make no sense to me. I don’t …

Jim Foudy: They call it ‘smart growth’ for a reason — and Amherst should take note

Friday, April 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In Northampton and Amherst this year the topics of smart growth and community gateways — and how they intersect — have generated debate. Smart growth principles encourage development in already urbanized areas. The idea is to concentrate housing, commerce, jobs and transportation while leaving land open …

Jay Vinskey: The bonsai trees of King Street shouldn’t look that way

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Having worked to maintain the city’s “Tree City USA” designation as a member of the former Northampton Tree Committee and landscape architect, I was disheartened to notice the widespread hacking that occurred to the trees at …

Jay Ambrose: The Clinton saga: fascinating to watch, hard to endure

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

If we Americans were not participants in our democracy, not people deeply affected by political outcomes, just spectators taking in the show, you could not ask for anything much more fascinating than the Clinton saga. The story has been funny, sometimes sad, sometimes dramatic, always engrossing, starting, of …

Adam Fisher: Finding uplift in a Depression-era voice

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In an age of too much information and too little to show for it, it is hard to know who’s wearing the white hats — you know, the good guys, the credible guys, the guys and …

Mark Zinan: In search of the real Rand Paul

Monday, April 13, 2015

SUNDERLAND — In case you hadn’t heard the news, Republican Sen. Rand Paul is campaigning for president. During the past week, Paul received the same mega-publicity typically reserved for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (HRC) latest book tour or her six month faux-Hamlet pondering, to run or not run. Huge …

John Sheirer: Pushing the boundaries of belief

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — To commemorate Easter in the context of current politics, a progressive Christian friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook that depicts Christ’s crucifixion with the fake Fox News headline: “Socialist Hippie Executed.” My friend noted that she thought long and hard about whether or …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Armenian genocide: the truth that won’t stay told

Friday, April 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As soon as the calendar turned from 2014 to 2015, I knew that my April column would be devoted to the 100th anniversary of the start of the genocide of the Armenian people — and I began to dread what that would involve. I knew I …